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Starting to try and "Produce" as an independant

Posted in: Forum Home >> Musician's Chat >> Starting to try and "Produce" as an independant

Displaying 7 posts
Displaying 7 posts
Oct 22, 2012 1:35 PM ET #1 (permalink)

Hey Guys, this is Andrew D. calling out to all the metal heads that have made it further than I have in a band. That is actually recording a full album. Now for starters i have many questions but i will keep this post quick.

What are the biggest tips you can give to a poor metal head on how to produce a track.

I have the Personus studio one artist recording program and i have all the other pieces needed to record. I just have no clue where to start. Like what instrument to track first and what the best way to track that instrument is. For example, I've heard people like to record different section of drums at different times, like cymbals then drums and bass. What do you think works the best (not just for drums to clarify). Or would you recommend dropping the whole independent thing and just suck it up and find a producer?

Also i have literally zero music education, except for what i have done on my own, so if you would be so kind as to speak down to me like I'm a child, id greatly appreciate it.

Oct 22, 2012 4:05 PM ET #2 (permalink)

Know that production is hard and that making anything sound not like garbage without spending money is hard. Producers get paid boatloads for a reason and that because it's just as much art as it is science. The single quantum leap pieces of advice I have are if you really want to try:

-Record at least two guitar takes, pan one hard left and one hard right
-Vocals and bass are panned to the center (i.e. not panned)
-Put reverb on the snare, maybe toms, and be wary of putting it anywhere else
-Effects sound cool, but used strongly they will likely turn your music to mud
-Make sure your bass and kick drum aren't clashing or else mud

Oct 22, 2012 11:52 PM ET #3 (permalink)

First off thank you very much for taking your time to respond to my post, it was exactly what i was looking for. Just enough of the basics to help me develop our bands own unique sound. Second, i have been realizing more and more that it is much more difficult than i had anticipated. I figured the hard part would buying the recording system and all the materials needed for a minimum level recording production and the rest would be just clicking buttons. This is the exact reason i am reaching out to the community to look for advice.
My band has two guitarists so that shouldn't be a problem. Using this technique for the guitars is there a rhythm and a lead though? If so does it matter which one is panned which way. Also I've heard of reverb in two styles; 1) stereo 2)mono, what exactly is the difference? and do you have a recommendation on which technique to use for a metalcore band with a heavy melodic theme to it?

Thanks Again,
Andy D.

Oct 23, 2012 12:19 AM ET #4 (permalink)

Again, there are so many tiny individual choices to make in production it's tough to give any advice outside of big things. It's like asking whether you should use blue or purple in your painting. The real issue is when everything you paint comes out brown and you can't figure out why :P Probably start with mono, the key to starting out is to avoid the muddy dull sound that can result from "too much stuff". I'm not a pro, I'm similar to you are but I've just bashed down more walls with my head.

Oct 23, 2012 2:05 PM ET #5 (permalink)

As far as drums go, I have found this book really useful.


Also, what I've read and what has worked for me is to look at the frequency range of each instrument and try to avoid too much overlap. If the bass guitar and the bass drum are fighting for the same frequencies, then it's hard to get a crisp well defined low end on either. You might try finding the frequency where the bass drum fundamental note 'speaks' clearly and boost it a little. Make a note of that frequency range and notch the bass eq down a little bit.

On the guitar, I agree with Cynic completely. But it's up to you to experiment and find the right balance (pun intended) for your twin axe attack. You could double both guitar tracks (four total) and use different different eq settings. Then on the panning, you could pan the four tracks 100% L, 50% L, 50% R, 100% R. At the end of the day, it's your call. But these are just some options to try and see if you like them.

One other suggestion. Listen to the recording on as many different devices as possible. Home stereo, computer speakers, headphones, I-pod, car stereo, etc. The mix will sound different in each and vary with volume as well.
What may sound killer through headphones may sound bass heavy on a car stereo and vice versa. Comparing it to other recordings is also a blessing and a curse.

Take your time and enjoy.
Oh, one more suggestion! (lol) Let somebody not involved with the project listen as well. an unbiased opinion can help, especially after you've spent countless hours listening over and over and over again.

Oct 23, 2012 5:26 PM ET #6 (permalink)

Cynic: alright, ill watch out for those infamous brown notes then ;P

Drum_Junkie: thank you for giving me material to look at. ill look over that when i get a chance and see if it helps.

I have noticed that about the frequencies some what. I think it has to do with the what cynic said about doing to much and making it all sound muddy. After hearing so many great melodic bands putting out albums recently (Brenden Small's Galaktikon, August Burns Red's Sleddin' Hill) i have been noticing more and more that writing and producing songs is all about being patient with the time signatures of everything. I used to think that metal drums were all go all the time but man was i wrong. when i hear gene hoglan it amazes me what he can do with so little. Of course he also has some of the fastest most brutal blast beats of today lol.

I definitely noticed that about the different sound systems. on the recording headphones it sounded fine. As soon as i got it on a loud system it sounded very distorted

Thank you guys for making my first experience reaching out to the metal forums for help such a pleasant and rewarding experience and for getting back to me so quickly on this. These things have been plaguing me for months and they were solved in a matter of days. I couldn't be more grateful. Ill be sure to make another appearance when i have more questions and to check the forums for advice a lot more.

Oct 23, 2012 8:06 PM ET #7 (permalink)

No problem, I wish I could travel back in time and give myself this advice so I know exactly how you feel.

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